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For a long time, social media companies have rebelled against the fact that their services are “free.” All of these companies were betting on showing ads and getting user data in return for free use of the social network. Today, due to declining revenues and difficult global economic conditions, social networks resort to offering subscriptions in one way or another. From vanity checkmarks to exclusive stickers, these paid plans offer unlockable features to extend your reach and more.
Twitter first introduced paid subscriptions in Canada and Australia in June 2021, then expanded to the US and New Zealand. After Elon Musk took over the company, he increased the subscription price to $7.99 per month and relaunched the plan with features like blue verification marks and reply priority.
The first attempt to relaunch the social network in November was short-lived, as many profiles began impersonating brands and athletes. After putting safeguards in place to prevent it, those measures sometimes failed too, but Twitter finally released a new version of Blue in December. not. The Information reports that there are approximately 180,000 paid accounts in the United States and 290,000 worldwide.
- price: $8/month (web); $11/month (iOS, Android)
- feature: blue verification mark; edit tweet features; NFT profile picture; conversation priority; bookmark folders; Ability to write long tweets of 4,000 characters. Less ads. Custom app icons and themes.You can see the full feature set here.
- availability: 15 countries
Following in Twitter’s footsteps, Mark Zuckerberg also announced premium programs for Facebook and Instagram this week. Initially, the plan, called “Meta Verified,” will be available to users based in Australia and New Zealand, with plans to expand in the coming months. Similar to Twitter Blue, this new plan marks users with Blue ticks, but the company hasn’t done away with traditional verification of notable profiles.
- price: $11.99/month (web); $14.99/month (iOS, Android)
- feature: Blue certification badge. Additional protection against impersonation, including proactive account monitoring. Access to Customer Support. Improved visibility of comments and recommendations.and special sticker
- availability: Australia and New Zealand
Snapchat launched Snapchat+ in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates last June. Since its launch, the service has gained more features and expanded to more countries.Last month, Snap said it now has more than 2 million paying subscribers.
- price: $3.99 per month
- feature: Ability to pin someone as your best friend. The priority of his replies to Snap Star, the company’s popular creator program. Ability to see the ‘common direction of travel for recent locations friends have traveled to’ if you have location sharing turned on. Custom app icons, wallpapers and notification sounds. Rewatch story count. Story expiration control. You can see the full feature set here.
- availability: 20+ countries
Reddit has had some form of premium membership program for years. The company renamed his Gold membership to Premium in 2018. The $5.99 monthly plan offers perks like ad-free browsing, custom avatars, and Reddit coins for awarding posters.
- price: $5.99 per month
- feature: Ad free browsing; custom avatars and app icons; 700 Reddit coins monthly; exclusive prizes for posters. You can see the full feature set here.
- availability: World wide
ad free tumbler
This subscription is as easy as it looks. Tumblr launched an ad-free browsing plan last year for $4.99 per month. That’s a discounted price of $39.99 per year. After Musk bought Twitter, he also launched a parody service where you can get two blue checkmarks for $7.99. Last month, we extended this to rainbow checkmarks. These checkmarks don’t actually do anything, but are a way of indicating support for the service.
- price: $4.99 per month
- feature: ad free browsing
- availability: World wide
Overall, these subscriptions offer identity markers, increased reach, reduced ads, and some visual bells and whistles combination. It makes sense because most content services and apps (including games) offer an ad-free tier for an additional fee. These companies have long sung the song of giving equal distribution to creators’ content, so asking users to pay for increased reach is an interesting step. I’ve reduced or adjusted my Creators Program payments. Now, instead of investing more in making creators stand out, they’re paying users more opportunities to get discovered.
After Apple rolled out the App Tracking Transparency feature in 2021, social networks had a huge negative impact on advertising revenue. Additionally, bets like the Metaverse have not been successful in difficult economic times. As such, more social media companies are looking at other revenue streams such as subscriptions. These services have large user bases, but have not made significant progress. Snapchat+ has over 2 million subscribers and Twitter Blue reports that he has nearly 300,000 users.
Since Twitter Blue’s relaunch, people have sent over $7 million in in-app purchases, according to data from analytics firm Sensor Tower. On Snapchat, he has $64 million in in-app purchases since the launch of Snapchat+.
“Although the amount of revenue from these subscriptions pales in comparison to the combined advertising revenue, premium subscription plans have helped Twitter and Snapchat increase user loyalty (and engagement) while also being particularly competitive. It’s a good sign for creating alternative revenue streams outside of the ad market,” said Abe Yousef, Senior Insights Analyst at Sensor Tower.
Content streaming sites such as YouTube and Spotify offer ad-free experiences and the ability to consume content online as part of their premium packages. And we’ve managed to get millions of paying users. The challenge for social networks is to come up with features worth paying users for. Until then, subscription revenue is just a footnote on the balance sheet.